Saturday, 24 May 2014

Evolution in Zambian Music

What came to be known as Zambezi Music
I'll start by saying that I as a Mufilika, music, poetry and dance is in my blood and soul. My father had a collection of only the music he enjoyed and was good. I started paying attention to music when I started edging towards my teens, those were the days. I was 10 when I started recording songs from the radio (yes, we are the generation that gave birth to piracy in Zambia). The very first album I owned was Legend by Bob Marley and the Wailers... Then I was convinced to dub Snoopdogg's Doggystyle over it. To this day I can't really figure out whether I made a mistake with that or that was the true beginning of knowing what I liked in music.



Growing up, local radio and television is all I had to enjoy. for entertainment. The local music industry was shrunk at a very fast rate in the 90's and HIV/AIDS and a very poor economy had a lot to do with that. But all good things survive. Zambians have music for all occasions, from funerals to weddings, they rarely had the resources to persue music and earn a living. This coupled with the economic decline that stretched from the 80s and straight through the 90 made it impossible for one to imagine anyone taking music as a livelihood. Some stood tall and strong though, I remember Daddy Zemus in the mid 90s, he made that difficult choice and to day his name will forever remain as that of the father to the rebirth of Zambian Music. Do you remember 'Salaula'? Yes that was the break out song of this late great. he came out at a time when people said that such music did not belong to this country and he would flop. but his impact was disruptive enough to leave an indelible mark on the music industry and a whole generation of music lovers.


Nasty D
At that time we only had folk music (Kalindula) and Congolese rumba music (I never liked it much) which i only came to appreciate when I drank shakers. but amidst all the foreign influences some voices broke through and the people listened and we loved it Case in point, Davis Ngoma, popularly known as Nasty D. His song, 'Gudu Milile' made people realize how many applications our local language had in trying to tell a story. This song was not only fun and entertaining, but it managed to illuminate the prevailing social conditions and how people basically lived and loved life. Alas the system could not let a man 
change the world and he returned to the darker recesses of Zed life, I am happy to inform you that he is alive and well, and those of us who have it, still enjoy his music. Started from a group called EHD (Ever High Dread) Nasty and his crew widened the path Zemus cut by drawing in the grass root fans across the board. A full story on him will come at a later stage. moving on..

The Pioneers

It wasn't long before a smart and shrewd businessman put his hand in reviving our music, with the successful recording and selling of Daddy Zemus's Chibaba album, Mondo Music CEO Chisha Folotiya  brought forth the Rhythm Nation Project. This compilation showed how diverse and deep Zambian talent actually was. to most of us, it was a breath of fresh air

There are several names and artists i have not spoken of or referred to, this is deliberate, I just wanted to give a glimpse of what i mean by Zambian music as i know it, and where it stands today. Every once in a while I listen to the radio and I hear a new song every day, from old timers to new comers, there is always something I have not heard. I pride myself in being capable of separating the the good from the crappy stuff upon first hearing.

Chisha Folotiya

Jordan Katembula
Black Muntu

Unfortunately I don't have the energy or the time anymore to be a fully fledged critic, but I still know what good music sounds like. But from way back then to now, I have come to appreciate the efforts these artists make and I hope that you the reader found out something you didn't know.. At the very least reminded you of good memories.

Bless and be blessed 


Sunday, 7 July 2013

Dave Chappelle On Secret Societies and homosexuality

I always wondered in famous people and how they lived their lives, but this man brings it into perspective so beautifully I thought I'd share it here. When I have time to write properly I suggest those who have eyes to watch and those who have ears to listen. There is more to life than being successful, or rather, what is the true worth of our success? Here is a man labeled crazy for walking away from money that was going to tun himself into a slave. BLESS and be BLESSED

Sunday, 30 June 2013

The African Solution

I had great fun yesterday at the Lusaka SM Day. A place where social media enthusiasts came together and shared ideas and knowledge on Zambia as a techy state in her infancy.  I mean coming together and belting our ideas and perceptions to people they don't know is something could only dream about until Bongohive, C1rca1964, Media365 and others made it happen. I feel lucky to have been part of that meet and wouldn't have it any other way than to be there every other time something like this is going on.

The Zambian ICT sector still has a long way to go in terms of human development among several other aspects that may exist. Several barriers to entry exist in trying to run a purely web-based business, also transforming web users to actual customers, but all these things were addressed and I learned something from it. I could talk more about what I learned but I think I'll be the only person in the world who will read this article. Simply put I think this is a perfect to fish out the African solution in the problems we face in using technology or even making it available.

As an IT guy, I wish I knew more guys in the industry, especially those with a little more time and programming skills so we can also sit down and try to create tools that are specifically designed as the "African Solution" to anything that has not yet been localized to suit local consumers. Because we are the ones who face these challenges every day we have to seriously start inventing solutions so that we can finally take control of what we consume and use. I saw a video one on TED where Kenyan developers at Ushahidi have created systems and solutions to problems we face as communities and as nation, they created the crowd map and also developed the BRCK which is a lovely solution to our connectivity problems. The African Dongle, no hassle. I love it, but we don't know the price or if it would be available in Zambia any time soon...Enough about that
My point in all this is the challenge media houses face in hosting or streaming their content on line, I don't know if we have anyone among our ISP's or any corporate entity that is even remotely interested in sponsoring development of such technology so they can feed off the license. I know I could research what it would take to handle such a job or even buy ready made software but I see this great chasm in between the relevance of something and people's understanding, or perception of it. By that i mean someone would much rather spend money fixing an old computer or buying a new one without figuring out why the are actually buying a new machine or not fixing the old one. Now I'm boring myself,.... Enjoy your day

I think I have said enough, hope to see someone say something back...